The Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, attended the high-level meeting entitled “A New Vision for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Mediterranean”.
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, attended the high-level meeting chaired by the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, European Union Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginia Sinkevičius, and the President of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), Roland Kristo, under the title “A new vision for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean”.
The meeting, which was held via video conference and was attended by 16 fisheries ministers and 9 high-level representatives from the Mediterranean and Red Sea countries, served as a framework to ensure compliance with the new 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), which will target the Aims for sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture across the region.
In this context, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food stated that “Spain, with its support for the 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, is renewing its commitment to the sustainability of fisheries”.
Within the European Union, Spain ranks first in terms of fleet capacity, fishery production and processing. “This is why the sustainability of resources and the marine environment is a priority for the Spanish government and consequently our country will take responsible leadership in sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean.”
Data from the latest FAO report, The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries, December 2020, shows positive trends in the state of the region’s fishery resources for the first time in several decades.
“It is proof that, with scientific knowledge, if we manage it correctly and, above all, if we work together with the industry, we can make interesting progress in protecting our seas,” emphasized Planas.
The GFCM’s 2030 Strategy now aims to address this trend through measures related to the profitability of fisheries, improving employment conditions, promoting sustainable aquaculture, working together and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing consolidate.
In this context, Minister Planas reminded that fisheries and aquaculture management, like almost all environmental challenges, cannot be addressed in isolation and therefore needs to be integrated into wider planning and co-governance frameworks.
The Minister stressed that the FAO and the European Union must continue to play a leading role in promoting and coordinating initiatives in order to make progress on the sustainability of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The FAO due to its international dimension and the GFCM due to its strategic objectives are the ideal forum to advance this joint project.
Spain has been a member of the GFCM since it was founded more than 70 years ago. The Spanish government is determined to continue to support it and make it work. For example, last October, Malaga became the seat of the Regional Office for the Western Mediterranean, from where fisheries cooperation activities between countries bordering the region are carried out.